The August 14 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 12th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.
The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.
Larry Witt, Oxo, President
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Larry Witt was named president of Oxo late last year as longtime president Alex Lee announced his retirement. Witt joined Oxo in 1994 when the company’s founder, Sam Farber, was still running the kitchenware and housewares company. Witt started as national sales manager, then added market development, customer service and product development to his responsibilities. He also played a strong role in helping the brand navigate and grow in an ever-changing marketplace while also under the ownership of three different parent companies. The brand has been under the ownership of Helen of Troy since 2004.
WHAT TO WATCH: As he takes the helm as president, Witt brings to the table both his established experience and fresh perspective to the company as it faces new consumer challenges. Consumers, Witt noted, are learning about brands and products through new mediums and emerging platforms, which creates new opportunities for a disruptive, innovative brand such as Oxo. The company views this paradigm shift in consumer behavior as its next opportunity for future growth, he said. To navigate this challenge, Witt said that the team at Oxo is laser focused on engaging the consumer through brand-rich content and well designed and engineered solutions that exceed their everyday needs.
PERSPECTIVE: As the company moves forward under his leadership, Witt stated that Oxo will continue to innovate and bring more of the same, only better, to the housewares industry. “Better not because I am the new leader, but better because that is what Oxo strives for each day. We’re always learning, curious, disruptive, adapting, not afraid to take risks, learn from mistakes, and strive for better every day,” he said.
“My goal is not to change what the industry sees, but to inspire, support, and enhance what the industry does not see, the magic behind the curtain. To encourage our team to grow as business leaders as well as individuals, and to find new and improved ways to do what they do so well.”
2018 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Katrina Helmkamp, Lenox Corporation
- Terry Carlson, Lasko Products
- Gilles Gosselin, Atlantic Promotions/Starfrit
- Brendan Proctor, Lidl U.S.
- John Mackey, Whole Foods Market
- Arjen Linders, Philips North America
- Mike George, QVC
- Rob Kay, Filament Brands
- Marc Lore, Walmart
- Kurt Jovais, Midea America Corp.
- Liz Zadro, Zadro Products
- Bradley Smith, Cheyenne Products
- Larry Witt, Oxo
- Lori Gonzalez, Twin-Star
- Bobby Griggs, Hammer Stahl
- Tony Curtis-Wellings, Faraday’s
- Brett Bradshaw & Robert Michelson, Bradshaw
- Rick Carey, Metal Ware